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tv   [untitled]    October 27, 2010 1:00am-1:30am PST

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fines. if you look at the record of the director it is only in rare cases that we have done so. there is an issue that this creates new rules on bedbugs. in 2005 the board asks for rules and regulations on bedbugs. this ordinance does not change any of those rules made in 2006. for decades, people have been
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responsible, responsible parties have been out to maintain their buildings and dwellings free of noxious in sex. including bedbugs. these rules from 2006 crete -- clarify this and create a responsibility for property owners and tenants. it is important to note that this ordinance changes the definition of a responsible party consistent with practice, changing it from making any person potentially responsible for the cause of the nuisance. we recognize that things are not in the property owner's control. in our practice we have always tried to share the responsibility fairly the lungs -- amongst responsible parties. this would not change any of that. the change in the authority
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would authorize us to do something that we were not officially authorized to do before. i want to make the point, finally, that this will not -- people i've raised concerns that this will create new opportunities for litigation. right now the only recourse is litigation. wherever we had other administrative compliance tools, we have less reliance on the courts. i really want to quickly go through the other tools that you, the board, have given us for other issues. for the very difficult issue of smoking in common areas, we have a $500 per day potential violation of import -- enforcement. massage establishments, a third violation and potential deficit -- suspension a permit. food business, suspension of
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permits. tobacco sales, violation resulting in suspension. certainly we do not want to get into the business of spending. but these are the kinds of very strong enforcement tools we have for almost every other public health and safety law. we are simply a year asking for parity. these tools will be used judiciously, fairly, and i will be very happy to work with any party in this room to make this work. finally, just the issue of bedbugs, remember, it also calls scabies a public health nuisance. and lice. we recognize that while we have the ability to share the responsibility, figuring out objectively how to do that is a difficult task. i think how to figure out how to share the responsibility and the
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responsibilities of people for tricky issues like bedbugs is an ongoing conversation as we learn more. this should be an ongoing conversation and we are happy to be a part of it. thank you. supervisor avalos: thank you. please briefly describe the difference between the ordinance now and what is proposed in terms of reporting nuisances, especially those that are prolonged for a long period of time and how the penalties apply in both cases. >> this law applies to any property structure or building in san francisco, public or private. in general, we come about learning about something that a complainant, it could be a neighborhood resident, a tenant, they report a public nuisance. rats running in the street, the sewer. mold in this building.
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our first line is -- have you talked to the property owner? first we encourage them to work with de property owner to resolve the concern. they are still welcome to file a complaint with us. if they file a complaint, we tried to go out within seven days. sometimes sooner depending on the circumstances. in an issue like bedbugs, we would have to physically verify that the bedbugs exist. mold, we would physically verify the substantial amount of mol low wall. physically they're applying the presence of rodent droppings. we will get a notice of violation to the responsible party. once we give the notice of violation, we have a time. for collecting the violation. we have education and advice on
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who to go to to correct it. typically it is between seven days and 30 days. past issues actually take quite a bit longer, because they involve pest control and multiple treatments. we give people the time. we follow up with them. if things are not progressing, we might do the inspections. we asked people to come in for an informal conference or hearing to discuss their concerns and why they are not able to make the changes. after all of that if they are still not responding we say that if you do not respond we will refer you to a hearing of the director. the director is someone not part of environmental health and he hears both sides of the story, producing a judgment. he orders the responsible party and the tenant in some cases to
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take certain actions. he gives them a time period. at this point he can simply say that if you do not take action within this time. we will refer the case to the city attorney. because of the complexity of the issues, it is very hard to get a judge to hear these issues, is really not encouraging us to make these referrals. really, nothing happens and things get delayed. what this law would do, once we get to that point, away after 90 days, we would be able to say that you have seven more days to fix this problem. if you do not fix this problem, you will be subject to fines and penalties. we would then set the amount. for some cases, fines and
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penalties will not be appropriate. in other cases we may need civil action. sometimes there is a mental health issue at stake. each situation is different and complex. we would try to use the appropriate tools. supervisor avalos: that was great. thank you. supervisor chiu: i have been getting some e-mails about potential private causes of action. my reading is that these actions can only come out with a recommendation is made to the city attorney's office with a referral and the follow up, right? >> correct. the attorneys' fees will either be rewarded to the plaintiff, us, or the responsible party. supervisor chiu: this is not about thousands of lawsuits that will be brought by tenants in a private setting? >> it does not enable that. supervisor avalos: we have two
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small amendments? can you describe those? i think they are related to refuse and property owners. >> correct. i think that almost everything here, it does not change the substantive rule for what a nuisance is or how it needs to be corrected. making one incidental change to a different section of the code relates to a problem we have heard about for many years. in some multi-family buildings, collection of refuse by the refuse collector is in the middle of the night in the upper floors of the buildings from rooms. we are for having nighttime collection by the collector from upper floors of rooms. this is both hazardous for the collectors as an occupational
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health perspective, typically destructive to the building, creating a lot of noise. it wakes people up in this stressful. supervisor avalos: today's amendment, how would that change it? >> it makes it clear that the prohibition of going upstairs at night is really only on the collector. they could have been interpreted before that no one can move garbage between 11:00 at night and 7:00 in the morning, but we have removed the line to clarify that. the other issue is that in more than a minority of cases, some difficulty reaching property owners. to that we be giving notice through the mail, which can take
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days or weeks if the owner lives outside san francisco. we already have most of the information we are requesting in this provision. we are asking for a contact for the manager, as well as a phone number for the owner. this is so that we can have more timely communication when there is a complaint or nuisance. i think that the first person that wants to know about a complaint is the landlord or property owner. they want a chance to get in there and fix it in all cases. >> typically, what is the range
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of? >> usually with more of it -- ordinary mail, we will send a notice and it will be there within a week. in some cases the male is returned. that is why we want this confirmed. we communicate with landlords on an annual basis. this would not be new communication. we would simply ask them to verify on an annual basis. the contact number for emergencies is new. we think that by contacting the responsible party to let them know that this is in contest, they will appreciate that. and that we are making this change so that contact is not 1 per unit, but rather for every
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building. supervisor chiu: let's go into up -- public comment at this time. if other individuals wish to testify, each speaker has up to two minutes to provide comments. supervisor avalos: i have a few cards. [reads names] please come forward.
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>> hello. i am a resident of the bayview hunters point district. i am here today to speak on the moisture and mildew of the bayview hunters point district and some of the conditions that some of the residents are having to deal with that are causing a health risk and hazard. i am speaking on behalf of myself because i last few years i have developed asthma, dealing with bronchial infections because of the moisture and mildew in the district. today i am acting for your support. if you could please support the nuisance penalty ordinance, it would help the residents so much. so many of them would like to be here today and they cannot be here.
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thank you. supervisor chiu: next speaker, please. >> good morning. i am a resident of bayview, hunters point. i have worked in san francisco and lived there for 25 years. recently i had some analysts', including breast cancer there are a lot of toxins in the air. with my immune system being low, people with asthma having to bring -- breve toxins in their home, this is making their health workers. if we approve this ordinance, it would help and clean place to
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live. by a joke yes on this ordinance. thank you -- i urge you to vote yes on this ordinance. thank you. >> i am a resident in the bayview hunters point area of. i witnessed a lot of things that when boards were not doing. i have children. you know? they have as much. thank you, have a nice day. thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you in a
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market served in san francisco, i see the need for strengthening the existing ordinances to regulate the behavior of landlords in san francisco. a few days before i became aware of this proposed strengthening, i participated in the meaning of tenants without any prompting coming to a consensus that there needed to be a lot that made landlords, as spike lee would say, do the right thing. not a day goes by that i do not get phone calls from tenants about landlords ignoring requests for repairs and treatment of past and in station. the really disturbing aspect to these complaints and i had conducted a survey of clients whose health problems were directly related to their housing.

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